Renewable Energy Programs in Rhode Island
There are two state renewable energy programs that help make solar a great investment in Rhode Island:
- The Renewable Energy Growth Program
- The Renewable Energy Fund Program
In this section of the website, we will do a deep dive on each of these Rhode Island Solar Incentive Programs. You may have heard of these types of programs, they are also commonly referred to as ‘solar panel grants’ or ‘solar rebates’ through the state.
Renewable Energy Growth (REG) Program
What is it? The Renewable Energy Growth Program (REG) is a collaborative effort between the Rhode Island Distributed Energy Board and National Grid intended to encourage grid connected renewable energy in the state.
- State wide goal of adding 160 Megawatts of Renewable Energy in 5 years.
- The program was developed as an alternative to traditional Net Metering.
How does it work? REG offers a Performance Based Incentive (PBI) to home owners who have installed solar. The incentive is based on the power generated by the system and is paid directly to the owner by National Grid.
- Home owners can choose a 15 year or a 20 year guaranteed incentive rate.
- Incentive payments are based on the total kilowatt hours (kWh) produced.
Can it really save me money? Yes! The energy produced by the system will show up as a credit on your electric bill with the added incentive amount directly deposited into your bank account every month by National Grid.
- REG offers one of the highest incentive rates in the country for home owners who install solar power.
Current REG Rates:
- 34.75 Cents/kWh guaranteed for 15 years
- 30.85 Cents/kWh guaranteed for 20 years
600 kWh per month* @$.3475= $208.50 Value
That’s an annual value of $2,502 in combined savings and payments!
*Based on average Rhode Island home owner electric usage and a system size.
How do I Qualify? All Rhode Island home owners who receive electric service at the basic rate or low income rate from National Grid service are eligible for the REG program. Once you decide to go solar, the SunWatt team will sign you up for a Certificate of Eligibility that entitles the home owner to receive PBI payments for the chosen term length.
- A home is eligible for a solar array that produces an amount equal to or less than the average on-site electric use over the past three years.
- A Certificate of Eligibility entitles the homeowner the right to complete the project and receive PBI payments for up to two years.
- Unlike some grant programs the REG eligibility is not contingent on shading, roof direction or other constraints.
Why act Now? The current generous REG incentive rates are only locked in until March 30th 2018. Since the program began in 2015 the rates have historically declined by around 10% each year. There will never be a more lucrative time to go solar in Rhode Island! Take advantage of these solar tax rebates now.
- At the current rates the SunWatt team is confident we can match your system with a loan that will make you Cash Positive from day one! Once you interconnect you start putting money in your pocket.
Renewable Energy Fund (REF) Program
What is it? The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (RIREF) is a Public Benefit Fund set up to encourage the growth of renewable energy in the state. Grants are available to home owners and small businesses in Rhode Island who are looking to install solar.
- The program issues Grants for up to $1.00/watt for solar installs which cover between 25% and 30% of the total cost.
- $1.5 million is available in grants for renewable energy projects in the upcoming block starting August 21, 2017.
- REF grants pay out up to $8,000 for residential installs and up to $150,000 for commercial installs.
- Funds are limited and are dispersed on a first come first serve basis. Now is the best time for Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the program
How does it work? REF grants are awarded in blocks by the state. Once you decide on solar, SunWatt will submit the application for you. Upon approval, the grant amount will be discounted from the cost of your install.
- The program is limited to homes with adequate rooftop sun exposure. SunWatt will access your roof and determine eligibility.
- Solar projects installed under the REF Grant program are eligible for Net Metering upon interconnection.
- When combined with the 30% Federal Income Tax Credit, Rhode Islanders can install solar for half the actual cost of the project.
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